The Bennett Institute will create digital tools that can increase the impact of health care data and improve patients’ lives
“We stay close to work that directly improves the lives of citizens; and we share all our work under open source licences, for review and re-use by all." Dr Ben Goldacre, director of the Bennett Institute
The University of Oxford has announced a new organisation, the Bennett Institute, to improve the use of evidence and data in health care.
The Bennett Institute, which is based in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, brings together academics from a number of disciplines, including clinicians, software engineers, policy experts and statisticians. Together they will develop tools to increase the impact of data and evidence, with the aim of improving the lives of patients and citizens.
The Institute, which is being funded by the Peter Bennett Foundation, is headed up by Dr Ben Goldacre, currently director of the DataLab. “Data and evidence have proven power to transform lives,’ he said. “This backing from the Peter Bennett Foundation will help us rapidly accelerate our work, innovate more flexibly, and develop broad collaborations outside of medicine.”
Recent outputs from Goldacre’s team include OpenSAFELY.org, open source software that analyses data from electronic health records, and OpenPrescribing.net, which makes it easier to analyse anonymised drug prescription data.
“Our work has two defining features,” Goldacre added. “We stay close to work that directly improves the lives of citizens; and we share all our work under open source licences, for review and re-use by all. It is great to see strong support for this open, practical ethos: we look forward to proving its power over the coming years.”
Professor Louise Richardson, the University of Oxford’s vice-chancellor, said: “The experience of the pandemic has demonstrated the centrality of both data and evidence, not only in shaping sound government policies, but also in improving public health outcomes.”